Observations by Key Monroe~~Home of Right Opinions, Cynical Viewpoints, and TMI in Hefty Doses
|E-mail: keymonroe [at] alltel [dot] net

August 05, 2005

My Little Brother

It was impossible to keep a stitch of clothing on the cherubic little devil until he was near four years old, save his cowboy boots and gun holster, which he wore 24/7.

When he reached age five, my asinine parental unit of the paternal persuasion bought the lad a BB gun, with the understanding that if he EVER shot a person, it would be gone forever.

Birds must be really boring moving targets. Because one day, as I rode my bike down our long drive, the little booger followed me with his scope from the center of the front yard. I didn't sweat it though, had to have been fifty feet.

So, he got me in the thigh. Luckily, I was wearing jeans, and there was no bullet to pick out, but there was one helluva goose egg. Oh yeah, and it friggin hurt!

Not to worry though, he didn't get that gun back 'til the about the middle of the next DAY! [I don't use the term asinine lightly.]

It was at least a few weeks before he shot anyone again, though. This time himself... in his ear cartilage, thus beginning the first of many trips the boy would make to the ER over the next decade or so. RE the BB lodged in the fold of his ear: he was an adult before he admitted that he had just wanted to see if he could cock and shoot with his big toe.

While I was a low maintenance child, low energy, laid back, shy to the level of social retardedness, a thinker, an artist, a sassy-mouthed debater and a self-motivator academically, he was the complete opposite... item for item.

When we fought, I would coach, "Use your words," even as his six years younger ass would beat my older and taller one into the ground.

The rod was not spared.

My mother kept a freshly groomed switch between the logs in the wall behind the refrigerator. It would last half a day or so before he'd pull a chair over, grab the switch, and shred it into toothpicks. Obviously, this was a switchworthy offense, and the woman always had a spare.

He'd see her go for it, though, and he'd run. The punishment worsened because of that, but it never stopped him.

In the next house, when we upgraded from country cabin to big 'ol two story brick traditional, we had a formal front staircase off of the Foyer, as well as a back staircase off of the Breakfast Room.

Running was more fun then. He'd run up one stairwell and down the other to evade punishment, fast, with this amused grin on his face as he whooped and hollered Daffy Duck style , "WOOHOO! Woohoo [laughter] WOOHOO! Woohoo [laughter]...!"

I tried to teach him how to play chess... he threw the pieces across the room. I tried to teach him how to treat the ladies... he hid under my bed and watched my friends change into their swimsuits.

As I was stealing from the liquor cabinet at age 17, he was as well, at 11. As I was a bridesmaid in my cousin's wedding earlier that year, he was slinking around the tables, finishing off unattended glasses of wine.

It was later that year that my parents divorced.

He had never really had a decent father figure to begin with, but I don't think he actually realized that until all hell broke loose.

Shortly thereafter, he began hanging with an older group, who gladly supplied the cute and charming youth with alcohol, cigarettes and pot. And by age 13, big sis embarrassed the hell out of him, as I felt the need drill into his head the seriousness of STD's, even as I hoped there was no need for it...yet.

The next year he was sent to a wilderness camp in Utah, one of the brutal ones that reporters like to expose. His shiny shoulder-length locks were shaved, and he thinned considerably. I wanted him out, but was impotent as a mere sibling. Finally, my mother went in person and extracted him.

Thankfully, he found the determination to continue his education, without dropping out at 16, as the state allows. He did, however, manage to earn himself a probation officer before he managed to earn himself a diploma.

Nonetheless, the diploma was his.

And I had had high hopes. Apparently, so had he. He just defined "high" a wee bit differently.

He did manage to secure a job in construction, and was under the influence of nothing more than Mountain Dew, allegedly, when he flipped his truck during his lunch hour.

We almost lost him then.

After an agonizing wait at the hospital, I was allowed to see my spleenless brother, with an eight inch sutured incision running sternum to navel, cuts all over his face, and I'll never forget his beautiful eyelashes, blood-matted.

But he made it.

And even as I had hoped that he then realized the value of his own life, his next two hobbies were pool hustling and bar brawling, which tend to go hand in hand... As does serving a little time.

Finally, the wild child settled into a bit of a routine, working within the family business, and even maintaining a relationship or two.

And despite his roughened demeanor when confronted with the drunk and the toothless, he's always been a mild one any other time, a cutie, a passionate flirt, and a gentle spirit.

One of the good guys. Looks like Johnny Depp, and could charm the pants off a nun.

Of course, I've always wanted the best for him, always painting him a promising future. But unfortunately, I seem to have more faith in him than he has in himself. And I fear that he is now stumbling on yet another one of life's many hurdles.

I have been quiet on my page this week. He has been on my mind.

posted by Key on 05:37 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack (1)
ยป Gut Rumbles links with: wild child

There is such sadness in your post... you and your brother are in my prayers as I read this.

Posted by: PamelaRN at August 5, 2005 08:39 PM

It's a helluva thing to watch a sibling take the road to perdition. I struggle with it myself. Took my sister in, got her a job, put a roof over her head, got her on her feet, then she hauled ass back to California in March to move back into the same squalid conditions she left. Never even said bye.

You're good peeps, Key. All you can do is be there for him when he decides to get his shit in one sock. I salute you, and your concern.

Posted by: Velociman at August 5, 2005 10:08 PM

You gotta let the dude find his own way, Key. As VMan said, the most you can do is just be there to help him stand up...when *he* decides he's ready to pull himself together. It's not easy, though. Best wishes!

Posted by: zonker at August 5, 2005 11:43 PM

Well, Hell...

Posted by: Jack at August 6, 2005 04:34 AM

Woman, we gotta sit down and have a beer together sometime.

I feel your pain..I think perhaps we have the same sibling.

Posted by: Kelly at August 6, 2005 04:13 PM

I'm so sorry you are going through this. I second what everyone else has said. He's got to find his own way. Easier said than done.

Posted by: Moogie at August 7, 2005 11:38 AM

Many of us "march to a different drummer" than di the rest. For some it means some time in the slammer, for others it means that we are jsut wierder than the norm, and for a select few it means the scientific discoveries of the ages, the miracles of modern medicine, the invention of fire, the wheel- these were not the ideas of those who marched in step with the majority. Although most who are out of step eventually learn to stay in line well enough to stay out of the spotlight of then majority, there are always thos who will just not conform completely. I respect these indoviduals for what they are-individuals who although may not be thinking logically, do think for themselves.

Very good post. I like your style. GUYK

Posted by: GUYK at August 7, 2005 01:35 PM

Best of luck, Key. Family messes are always the hardest.

Posted by: The Polite Liberal at August 7, 2005 11:14 PM

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink, but sometimes a two-by-four across the back of the head helps! As a dad to five, I have been blessed by only minor problems with the kids, however it does seem as though there are too many good kids out there that wander aimlessly until they find their bliss! My hope of good fortune to your brother as always

Posted by: johndeerebilly at August 8, 2005 04:20 AM

I've been there...I know how you feel...tough stuff...

Fuck the page...do what you have to do...

Posted by: Sam at August 8, 2005 11:17 PM

Take my word for it, he is counting on your faith in him.

Keep the faith because as he stumbles he will reach for it to pull himself up. Sometimes that faith is all we can give and they hold tight to it when all around them everything is falling to pieces.

So keep the faith, it's the greatest gift you can give him.

Posted by: BeeBee at August 9, 2005 09:21 AM
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